Novell has bundled Suse Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES 9) with relevant support and training as it looks to help resellers re-engage with the SMB market.
It made the move after realising SMB customers were used to smaller and more flexible service agreements than previously offered on its Linux software, according to Asia-Pacific channel operations manager, Greg Kieser.
"The small guys want the same 24x7 services that bigger organisations get but don't want to get involved in a premium support agreement," he said. "That is where these bundles come in."
Available in Standard and Priority versions, they include a base SLES 9 license and varying support options. Both also include a training CD-ROM called the Linux Essentials Training Kit.
Kieser said the bundles could drive further Linux adoption.
"There has been an element of reluctance from some customers [to adopt Linux]," he said. "They want to be backed by someone credible and now we can leverage our [support] strengths."
Kieser said the bundles, which see the software maker returning to boxed product, would be on the market in about a month. Electronic versions would also be available in a couple of months.
For businesses that don't require support options, Novell would continue to offer a basic SLES 9 package with 90-day installation support and online patching for a year.
Kieser said Novell wasn't likely to look at additional resellers to help sell the new bundles.
"We already have nearly 500 registered resellers and we are definitely not on a recruitment drive," he said. "Anyone is welcome, of course, but I don't see any need beyond our current levels."